Josh Hawley backs Tucker Carlson after he calls ‘coward tape’ that showed him fleeing Jan 6 a ‘sham’

The Fox News host said “surveillance footage shows that famous clip was a sham”

Gustaf Kilander
Washington, DC
Tuesday 07 March 2023 21:54 GMT
Related video: Jan 6 hearing audience laughs at video of Josh Hawley running from mob

Missouri Republican Senator Josh Hawley has praised the release of the security footage from the Capitol riot to Fox News.

Host Tucker Carlson claimed that the footage showing Mr Hawley fleeing rioters during the insurrection on January 6 was “propaganda” because other senators also fled the mob.

Mr Hawley had egged on the crowd gathering outside Congress ahead of the riot by raising a fist in solidarity.

Mr Carlson had been given more than 40,000 hours of security footage from the Capitol riot by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, picking out the more peaceful footage in an attempt to inaccurately portray the event as non-violent.

Mr Hawley retweeted a post by rightwing radio host Buck Sexton, who wrote, “Democrats’ whiny rage is the best indicator possible that the truth is finally coming out about J6”.

“Democracy dies in darkness,” Mr Hawley added.

Mr Hawley also retweeted a post by rightwing activist Charlie Kirk who shared a video of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell saying it was a “mistake” for Fox News to depict the insurrection as peaceful, in opposition to the view of US Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger.

“Sunshine is always the right answer,” Mr Hawley tweeted.

The clip of Mr Hawley running was shared by the January 6 Select Committee in July. Mr Carlson said on Monday night that it was somehow a “lie” because Mr Hawley wasn’t the only lawmakers running to safety.

Footage has also previously been shared showing Utah Republican Senator Mitt Romney and New York Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer fleeing the rioters, in addition to a large number of other lawmakers.

“Democrats laughed with derision” when the panel revealed the footage of Mr Hawley,” Mr Carlson said. “But in fact, the surveillance footage shows that famous clip was a sham, edited deceptively by the January 6 Committee. The clip was propaganda, not evidence.”

Mr Carlson continued: “The actual videotape shows that Hawley was one of many lawmakers being ushered out of the building by Capitol Hill police officers. And, in fact, Hawley was at the back of the pack. The ‘coward’ tape was a lie — one of many from the January 6 Committee.”

A research associate at the City University of New York, Juliet Jeske, said on her Twitter account Decoding Fox News that “Tucker Carlson accused the Jan. 6th Committee of creatively editing a clip of Josh Hawley running. Tucker Carlson creatively edited the clip. The Jan. 6th Committee did show Hawley running with several other Senators. I provide receipts”.

“Tucker Carlson is a propagandist and Speaker McCarthy was reckless to give him the exclusive access to 40,000 hours of Jan. 6th footage,” she added. “It should’ve been free for all media not someone who promotes conspiracy theories on a network that has admitted UNDER OATH that they lie.”

Mr Hawley said, “we heard for two years how incredibly important this January 6 committee was, how important all the evidence they collected was,” according to NBC News. “Let’s see it. Let’s see the whole video.”

The Missouri senator launched the initial objection to the 2020 election results in the Senate.

Of those at the Capitol during the insurrection, Mr Hawley said, “I think the overwhelming majority were peaceful.”

“My friends on the left are melting down about this. ‘We can’t have that!’ Well, why can’t we? I thought it was critical that it all be put out there,” he added. “What’s on the tapes? I don’t know, but I’m interested to see them.”

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat, said on Tuesday that Monday night’s broadcast by Mr Carlson was “one of the most shameful hours of television”.

“To say January 6th was not violent is a lie, a lie pure and simple,” Mr Schumer said on the floor of the Senate on Tuesday.

He added that he was “furious with Tucker Carlson and Kevin McCarthy”.

“What a low point for Speaker McCarthy, what a low point for Fox News,” Mr Schumer continued. “I condemn Mr Carlson for siding with the enemies of democracy. I strongly condemn Speaker McCarthy’s actions and fiercely oppose his decision to share this footage with Carlson. Conduct like theirs is just asking for another January 6 to happen.”

The chief of the US Capitol Police, Tom Manger, wrote in an internal memo shared with CNN that “last night an opinion program aired commentary that was filled with offensive and misleading conclusions about the January 6 attack”.

“The program conveniently cherry-picked from the calmer moments of our 41,000 hours of video. The commentary fails to provide context about the chaos and violence that happened before or during these less tense moments,” he added.

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